DEVELOPMENT: First Southwest Design Review Board meeting set for 1116 Alki Avenue SW project

(‘Preferred option’ rendering from draft design packet by MZA Architecture)

Almost two years after we first reported on a development proposal for 1116 Alki Avenue SW [map], the project on Duwamish Head is set for its first Southwest Design Review Board meeting. We last mentioned the project one year ago, when the developers ran a survey as part of the Early Community Outreach process. The project is described on the city website as “a 6-story, 65-unit apartment building (with p)arking for 102 vehicles” but the draft packet for the upcoming meeting features three massing (size/shape) options that max out at 58 units with 87 offstreet-parking spaces. The project is to be built on a site that holds six houses, four of which are more than a century old. The SWDRB meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, at 5 pm, online; watch here for participation information when it gets closer. You can also send pre- and post-meeting comments to, to reach the city planner assigned to the project.

32 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: First Southwest Design Review Board meeting set for 1116 Alki Avenue SW project"

  • Just wondering February 28, 2022 (8:14 pm)


  • CarDriver February 28, 2022 (8:43 pm)

    My bet: At least $4,000 a month rent. City will claim “affordable housing”

    • WSB February 28, 2022 (9:08 pm)

      No, this is not supposed to be “affordable housing.” There will be a fee-or-percentage component; that’s not yet available online for this project, or I would have mentioned it. Also, though the city site calls it “apartments,” the developers quite clearly call it “residential units.” I’ve seen that in other projects we’ve covered. So we don’t even know if they’ll be rental or condos; the latter is far more common for prime Alki water-facing sites.

  • J February 28, 2022 (8:53 pm)

    Yuck is right. Why so much car storage?

    • WSB February 28, 2022 (9:06 pm)

      Because the Alki Parking Overlay requires a space and a half per unit. This is not an area with frequent or even semi-frequent transit.

    • Anne February 28, 2022 (9:50 pm)

      Crappy transit along Alki.

    • S February 28, 2022 (11:00 pm)

      J— You’re protesting off street parking; are you dense?  Have you tried parking on Alki anytime in the past few years? Probably not, because based on your comment, you most likely don’t have a car… I do agree ‘Yuck,’ in the sense that Im not happy to see the more of beach bungalows go.  But at least it’ll have ample parking stalls; because, and I hate to break it to ya, most drivers (myself included) won’t be getting rid of their vehicles any time soon!!I’m sorry to say this, but with the current conditions on metro, you couldn’t pay me to use most mass transit… so in my car I shall stay! 

      • J March 1, 2022 (9:51 am)

        Yes, “S” to twist your personal insult, I am for dense- ness.  It is the only way out of our deteriorating environment.  “S’s” comment is like dancing on the deck as the Titanic sinks.  Actually I have been visiting Alki for the last 60 years and, wrong again “S,” I do enjoy a car.   I do visit Alki nearly daily for the last couple of years, walking, biking or driving. .  I have never had issue with parking, but a long time local, I know what to expect and when to visit.  Like The Junction, I do not expect to park in front of Jaks on a Saturday night.   I do not mind a brisk bit of exercise, walking, healthy for all of us,  and I don’t endlessly circle searching for parking.  Even for events like the Street Fair, there is available street parking.  The issue I have for this city and Alki is cowering to the interests of Gold Coast condos and few remaining week-end beach cottages that have greatly Balkanized Alki.   The issue of transit along Alki could be easily remediated by demand for Metro buses, but for those who insist on burying their heads in Alki’s sands.     

      • Sue L. March 2, 2022 (1:24 pm)

        La-di-da! Aren’t you too good for riding the bus!

    • K March 1, 2022 (9:42 am)

      I had the same thought, J.  It’s a shame the city requires so much parking to be included in new construction.  Even with no transit nearby, one car per unit should be plenty.  Back when the first waves of homes were built in West Seattle, no one thought twice about building single-family homes with no off-street parking available.  You can’t tell me there was better transit in the 40s than there is now.  Now that we’re adding density, code encourages/enables car ownership at an even greater rate than ever?  It’s madness!

      • neighbor March 1, 2022 (10:48 am)

        Those homes in the 1940s could be purchased with one income. Today it takes two at a minimum, and sometimes multiple jobs per person, to afford a home.

        • J March 1, 2022 (11:54 am)

          What is your point “neighbor?”  Those beach shacks of the 1940s and before were the weekend getaways/second homes for the minority of Seattleites who were already homeowners. The cost of housing is far more today.  How about the spiraling increase in rent?  As the same applies to rental units, which just recently became more expensive than home ownership, without the expectations of profit. Speculation and “free money” low rate loans are often neglected in this discussion.  In the 1940’s houses were purchased primarily as homes, not as hyped investment and retirement strategies.

          • Jethro Marx March 1, 2022 (8:22 pm)

            More than just car storage, you have some general complaints, yes?

    • skeeter March 1, 2022 (2:46 pm)

      I also agree, J.  87 more parking spaces means 87 more cars.  Our roads are already congested and we want *more* cars?  That makes no sense at all.  We should be removing parking spaces, not adding parking spaces.  

  • Auntie February 28, 2022 (9:41 pm)

    Is there any bus that runs along Harbor Ave/Alki/Beach Drive?

  • Oh Seattle February 28, 2022 (10:57 pm)

    I feel safer knowing that West Seattle will soon be protected by a solid wall of fortress-like buildings preventing potential invasions by sea.

    • Raye March 1, 2022 (1:40 am)

      Hahah! The thing that struck me was the huge SLABS! Actually, it has a 1970s vibe – and not a good 1970s vibe.

    • J March 1, 2022 (10:24 am)

      The predicted sea rise during this century will not be deterred by a few Alki condos.  Those underground and sea level parking spaces may become tide pools.

  • Marcus March 1, 2022 (3:39 am)

    Yuck is righty o, solid walls instead of windows?  Well at least when I drive by I will be looking towards the sound.

  • CarDriver March 1, 2022 (6:49 am)

    J. Parking a must as ALL the buyers/renters WILL have cars. Transit. Auntie/Anne the 37 is long gone. Options: water taxi shuttle or for Metro walk to 61st and Alki; Spokane street or California and Admiral.

    • J March 1, 2022 (10:03 am)

      “Cardriver,”  the facts simply do not support such contentions of ALL WILL have cars.  “As of 2016, just over 17 percent of Seattle households — about 55,000 of them — do not own or lease a vehicle. The share of city households without a car is now the highest that’s it been since the 1980s.”  Seattle TimesMany landlords report open spaces in their building, a costly waste and burden passed on to tenants.The 37 or any other Metro bus could easily be restored/added, if only CarDriver(s) would use it.

    • Jort March 1, 2022 (2:34 pm)

      Don’t make promises or guarantees that you can not promise or guarantee. You literally have no idea if “ALL” of the residents “WILL” have cars. Unless somehow you have a time machine to the future and can certify this as a fact instead of just another car-centric opinion? Or perhaps you are personally aware of every single potential buyer and also what their transportation intentions are? As J said, earlier, significant percentages of Seattle households do not have vehicles. When we make our planning decisions around crass and factually-unsupported assumptions that “ALL” citizens “WILL” have vehicles, we create awful, unlivable cities where people die and live in misery.

  • thee March 1, 2022 (8:56 am)

    Nailed the mid-70s Soviet design ethos. Brutalist architecture is back, baby!

    • J March 1, 2022 (10:15 am)

      Brutalist architecture like our beloved Rainier tower designed Minoru Yamasaki?  As WSB rightly corrects, the “massing” of these early stage proposals, is not  any indication Brutalistic architecture.   For education of the beauty of Brutalism in architecture, please GOOGLE.

      • Spicy Eight Piece March 1, 2022 (11:57 am)

        The size and shape looks pretty brutal to me, and not in a good way! Not sure any cladding or architectural detail on the outside is going to change that impression.

    • Jort March 1, 2022 (2:39 pm)

      You know, and I’m just guessing here, but something tells me that there might be some windows on the beachfront condos that aren’t being reflected in this early, preliminary architectural massing rendering. I mean … maybe, but I guess we’ll see, right? 

  • WSB March 1, 2022 (9:33 am)

    The first Design Review meeting is always the one that focuses on size/shape (“massing”), not the full final look.

  • CarDriver March 1, 2022 (1:33 pm)

    J. I do know a few people who don’t own cars. They’ve asked me for rides many times. Or, they use rideshares or taxi’s which are-if you’ve noticed is a car driven around by one person looking to drive someone a distance then drive around alone waiting to pick someone else up. As far as Metro. Rode the 37 when it was a shuttle many times. Grew up on Genesee hill when we had the 57. Many complaints to Metro went unanswered when they dropped those routes. As far as landlords having empty spaces reality is they charge extra so tenants simply park on the street. Have friends that work in the junction. When a new apartment opens up they see a BIG increase in cars in the neighborhood. Coincidence??? Nope They DO have cars. Also note. Seattle Times did a story on people saying they WOULDN’T buy without a parking place

  • zark00 March 1, 2022 (5:54 pm)

    We downsized to one car. Biggest mistake we’ve made lately. Trying to care for elderly parents and kids in school is nearly impossible with one vehicle. I can’t imagine even trying with no car – it would actually be irresponsible to do.  I can drive to the parents in about 10 minutes, and can not take a bus all the way – not even with a transfer. Bussing there takes an hour and 35 minutes including 20 minutes of walking. If I got rid of our car I would be forsaking those I am responsible for caring for.Jort, J, anyone who doesn’t want cars – it’s very hard to buy a car right now. I really need a second vehicle. Please consider selling me one of yours as you won’t need to use them. Much appreciated. 

    • Keith Donovan Oliver March 1, 2022 (8:13 pm)

      They are burning through money that WE do not have!!! Stop building and tearing historical places down and fix what we have. Easy- peasy…

    • J March 1, 2022 (8:38 pm)

      zark00, I am glad that you are in the minority.  Perhaps you should look into senior transportation services, as I assume you are not aware of taxi and ride services. Snarkiness aside, there are plenty of cars out there to purchase.  I’ve finally been able to lens my fealty to automobiles.  I’m happy to hear you care for your parents and sad to think that you don’t mind destroying the future of your/our kids for selfish convenience of now. 

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